Art Hounds: R&B, country and old time radio drama

Three people on a stage.
From left: Tim Uren, Eric Webster and Joshua English Scrimshaw host the Mysterious Old Radio Listening Show.
Christine Bruin | Courtesy of Tim Uren

Former St. Paul mayor and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity head Chris Coleman loves music, and he clearly remembers the first time he heard country singer Trevor McSpadden perform on his friend’s front lawn in the summer of 2020.

Coleman showed up expecting a dad band, but said, “all of a sudden there is Trevor and Mary Cutrufello on electric guitar, and they are just knocking it out of the park. And I went, ‘Wow, what a find. This is amazing.’” Coleman has seen McSpadden perform several times since. He appreciates the singer’s classic country voice and bluesy quality.

McSpadden plays at Forager Brewing Company in Rochester on Friday at 7 p.m., and in Wyoming, Minn., at Smokey’s Pub & Grill Saturday at 2 p.m. He and Mary Cutrufello play at the White Squirrel Bar in St. Paul on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

At the Icehouse in Minneapolis  Annie Mack performs from her new EP “Testify,” with special guest, 21-year-old R&B and rap artist Lakee.

Minneapolis artist Key Rose has watched Lakee Abner perform over the past few years since she took part in the R&B shows Rose hosted at Bullwinkle’s Saloon in Minneapolis. She's seen Lakee move from performing covers to writing and performing her own material across the Twin Cities.

“I know it's gonna be just great vibes. Great music, great voices. Great energy all around,” Rose said.

The Thursday all ages show starts at 8 p.m., 6 p.m. doors.

If you’re looking for a fun podcast, playwright and actor Vincent Hannam recommends The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society. Each episode features an original recording of an old-time radio drama from the 1930s and 40s. Three Minnesota actors and comedians break down the show, with an eye to its timeless quality, or not.

In addition to the podcast, the society puts on live performances, where they stage crime, horror and suspense radio dramas, complete with sound effects. There are doors slamming, footsteps, and commercial breaks.

This month’s performance is “The Mysterious Old Radio Holiday Special,” with new original material. The live show is Monday at 7:30 p.m. at Park Square Theatre, with live-streaming options as well. 

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